Approach to Psychotherapy with Adults
My approach to work with adults is grounded in psychodynamic theory. This means I emphasize the important role that events and relationships in our history play in shaping our personality, sense of self, and relationships with others in the present. Adverse or traumatic experiences in our past can have a cascading effect on the way we view ourselves; the way we view and interact with the world; and our capacity for creativity, play, and joy.
I supplement this approach with knowledge from theories of social justice (including queer, feminist, postcolonial, class, and disability studies) in recognition of the ways that larger systems can impact individuals’ material lives. I am therefore interested not only in your understanding of what has happened but also in your understanding of what is happening now.
I listen and collaborate with the people I serve so that we might better understand what brought them to where they are and the ways they can experience their present and future with greater security and fulfillment.
What to Expect
I typically meet with adults in therapy once a week or, in some cases, I may recommend sessions twice a week. Initial sessions are an opportunity for us to establish trust, understand what brings you to therapy, and for me to get a better sense of your strengths and areas of need. We will discuss your goals for therapy throughout and, as I gain a clearer picture, I will offer recommendations. Although each therapy is different, some features of my practice are consistent. These include an emphasis on identifying and understanding patterns of thoughts, feelings, and relationships; identifying strengths and desires for one’s life; and developing an increased capacity for self-reflection, insight, resilience, and enjoyment.
Therapy works best when there is a trusting relationship between both parties. So it is important to reflect on whether you feel a particular therapist is helpful and share any concerns you may have.
Areas of Practice
I have completed extensive training in, and study of, the impact of childhood trauma and adverse experiences on development. I am especially helpful with individuals seeking to understand the impact of earlier experience on their adult life. Another important piece of my practice includes work to help individuals understand the impact their environment has on their many and intersecting identities.
My areas of experience and expertise include:
- Anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress
- First-generation college / graduate school
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, and Transgender people – additionally, people who express multiple / non-binary gender identities
- Internalized homophobia / homonormativity
- Neurodiversity (ADHD, autism, giftedness, e.g.)
- Immigration / acculturation
- Life transitions (work, school, change in socioeconomic status / class)
- Grief and bereavement
- Survivors of abuse / neglect
- Relationship conflict / distress
My private practice is in Berkeley, CA and I am able to conduct therapy in English and Spanish. I am an out-of-network provider which means I am not a member of insurance panels. I can provide you with a bill to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. You will want to consult with them to understand your coverage benefits and the amount your insurance will cover for out-of-network providers.